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Sea turtle figures down more than half in Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — Figures from this year’s turtle season show that Playa del Carmen, like other regional nesting areas, were also down from previous years by more than 50 percent.

According to the municipality of Solidaridad, 2,521 turtle nests were registered this year, down from 5,467 in 2017. However, in total, 169,000 baby sea turtles were released into the sea for Playa del Carmen. The municipality of Solidaridad recorded the arrivals of the Caguama (loggerhead), Blanca (white) and Carey (hawksbill) sea turtles which are protected.

Iberostar Playa-Paraíso hotel along with the Committee for the Protection and Conservation of the Sea Turtle, closed the season with the release of 150 white baby sea turtles.

Environmental specialists say that the fluctuation is normal with alternating figures with one year being high and the next recording low numbers. They add that this year, many of the beaches suffered from excessive sargasso.

José Ángel Durán Désiga, director of Environment and Climate Change said that next year, they will call academics, students and the general public to participate in conservation activities of the species.

Environmental teams also pointed out that this year, they also faced looting and destruction of nests to the point they required the intervention of the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) on two occasions.